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Port of Houston

Port of Houston

The Port of Houston is the Achilles heel of the City of Houston’s international trade. Serving as the leading Port in the great state of Texas because of its eight public terminals along the 52-mile waterway, it has the country’s most efficient container terminal.

Ranked 5th in the United States container Port based on total tonnage TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit or volume in units of twenty-foot-long containers). Handling roughly 73% of the U.S. Gulf Coast container traffic alongside accumulating 97% of the Texas market share in containers. This high container traffic is why the Port holds the number one slot across the U.S. in foreign and domestic waterborne tonnage.

With such an enormous amount of activity going on at the Port of Houston, longshoremen work tirelessly to keep the Port functioning. Since there is a frequent flow of work, this creates an operating risk for the longshoremen on the Port. Dangers arise when unloading, transporting, and carrying cargo to and from areas on the Port. Too often, companies within the Port emphasize speed and profits without considering the risk to the longshoremen. When the focus is on maximizing profits over safety, longshoremen are often injured.

Port of Houston
Injuries can and will happen on Ports. The Port is filled with massive containers weighing upwards of two tons. If these containers are not handled safely, longshoremen face immediate danger. Accidents associated with the Port can result in death, broken limbs, or severe head injuries. When companies place the safety of their employees second and profits first, contact an attorney at Doyle Dennis who may get you the restitution you deserve. Containers often carry toxic chemicals, oils, and gas substances. When a spill of one of these containers occurs, longshoremen can suffer chemical burns, slips, falls, or even death from an explosion. In certain instances, cancer can develop in specific individuals exposed to the spilled substance. If you or anyone you know has been exposed to toxic chemicals through inhalation, skin contact, or even a catastrophic explosion, call Doyle Dennis for a free consultation
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$7.86 Million

$7.86 Million – Gillies V. Valaris PLC

Claims: Jones Act/Maritime Law

Jury Verdict: $7.86 million – Gillies v. Valaris PLC

On January 12, 2022, Doyle Dennis Avery LLP secured a $7.86 million verdict on behalf of Gordon Gillies, a drill ship operations adviser, who was injured while working on a vessel in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Gillies brought claims for negligence against Valaris PLC (formerly Ensco/Rowan Drilling) and for unseaworthiness of its vessel, the drillship DS-15.  At trial, the jury determined that Valaris failed to maintain a stair case from the derrick elevator down to the “deadman” deck of the vessel.  Specifically, the second step on the stair case lacked a protective bullnose – an important safety guard at the end of each step. As a result of this defect, Mr. Gillies fell and suffered injuries to his tail bone, back, and spine.

After hearing four days of testimony and argument in the 270th District Court of Harris County, the jury attributed 90% of the negligence that caused the client’s injuries to Valaris and only 10% to the client. Even more telling, the jury attributed 99% of the unseaworthiness of the ship to Valaris and only 1% to the client.

Ultimately, the jury agreed with Doyle Dennis Avery LLP and found that Valaris was negligent in creating the dangerous conditions on the ship. The jury awarded $1,821,000 in past damages (including pain, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, impairment, and medical care) and $6,040,000 in future damages (including pain, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, impairment, and medical care).


$350,000 – Deaver V. Noble Drilling (US) LLC

Claims: Jones Act/Maintenance and Cure/Unseaworthiness

Jury Verdict: $350,000.00 ($340,500.00 after contributory negligence offset; judgment not yet entered).

On June 15, 2018, a Harris County District Court Jury (Houston, Texas) found that Noble Drilling (US) LLC provided an unseaworthy vessel that caused injuries to Nathan Deaver. The jury also found that Noble unreasonably and callously failed to provide Mr. Deaver with maintenance and cure benefits. Michael Patrick Doyle, Patrick Dennis, and Jeffrey Avery of Doyle Dennis Avery LLP represented Mr. Deaver as trial counsel.
The plaintiff is a Texas resident who worked as a floor hand on the drillship the M/V Noble Tom Madden – a vessel owned and operated by the Houston-based Noble Drilling. In more detail, Mr. Deaver claimed that Noble failed to provide a vessel with a properly manned and experienced crew, and that Noble also failed to provide proper safety instructions related to his work in the shaker room aboard the vessel. Despite repeated requests to Noble by Mr. Deaver, Noble failed to provide Mr. Deaver with the necessary staffing and caused Mr. Deaver to suffer injury to his ankle, heel, and foot.
Based on this conduct, the jury found that M/V Tom Madden was unseaworthy and that Noble was responsible for Mr. Deaver’s injuries.